Thursday, June 11, 2015

Controlling An App

How do you control an app? This is a question I’m still asking ever since the Singapore Parliament passed the Third-Party Taxi Booking Service Providers Act last month.

The problem seems to arise from the increasing number of people who uses phone apps like Uber and GrabTaxi to book taxis without going through the normal regulated taxi companies. Not surprisingly, more and more people had been complaining about the drivers using these apps to get passengers with at least one passenger making a police report.

In the light of these cases, I can understand why the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is looking into ways to regulate the numerous drivers using the apps. However my question remains the same; how is LTA going to do it?

Drivers who operate under services like Uber and GrabTaxi are not regulated because anyone with a car can use the app to pick up passengers as long as they are registered with the maker of the app. You don’t even need to be a taxi to register with Uber. The drivers never go through LTA so…how is LTA going to control them?

It’s no use passing an Act when you have no way to enforce it. The Third-Party Taxi Booking Service Providers Act was passed last month, maybe it’s time someone from LTA comes out to say how they are going to enforce it. 

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